Ways to improve incontinence

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If you have incontinence or care for someone who does, then you already know bladder and bowel control is a sensitive topic. But when it comes to hygiene and health, that’s nothing to be shy about. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when managing incontinence.

First, you’re not alone. The National Association for Continence (NAFC) reports more than 25 million people diagnosed with incontinence 1. And with urinary incontinence, or bladder leakage, turns out that women experience the condition twice as much as men, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. 2 Researchers say beverages like caffeinated soda, coffee and alcohol could worsen the condition. 2

Here’s what you can do

  1. When leakage occurs, NAFC suggests changing soiled undergarments and cleanse the perineum area with an incontinence cloth.
  2. To reduce any skin irritation and redness, opt for a barrier cream that contains dimethicone or a cloth with barrier cream built in—such products protect the skin.
  3. For soiled bed linens and undergarments, NAFC suggests washing items separately and using baking soda or vinegar in the wash to eliminate odors.

Keep in mind—with bedbound individuals—skin exposed to urine or fecal matter is at increased risk of developing a pressure ulcer or bed sore, 3

Word of the Day [CALL OUT BOX]
What is the perineum? Anatomically speaking—the skin located between the genitals and anus. 4

Reference: 1. http://www.nafc.org/at-home-care 2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/urinary-incontinence.pdf 3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/urinary-incontinence.pdf 4. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perineum

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